Nailed – Digital Stalking in Leeds, Yorkshire, England

Nothing prepared me for reading this book, certainly not Mick McCann’s first novel,  ‘Coming Out As A Bowie Fan In Leeds, Yorkshire, England’. Whereas that book was a nostalgic, rose-tinted look back at a misspent, misfit youth this, his second novel, is a contemporary journey of unremitting tension that raises big questions about the rights of innocent people when they are caught up in a very real nightmare of conspiracy, kidnapping and surveillance.

Based on real events that started when the McCann family was suspected of making malicious phone calls using a SIM card Mrs McCann had given ways years earlier, the story weaves fact and fiction.

At the centre of it is the McCann family, trying to make sense of the blur of events. The power of the book is in the ordinariness of its characters, reacting as you and I would (although I don’t smoke!) speculating about the motives of others, piecing together bits of gossip and evidence with the hope of finding an answer.

The book has real onward momentum written in real time and with astute references to actual events in the outside world. For me, knowing the streets of Leeds where its set and being part of the One Mick Jones internet forum that tracked the developments that eventually led to the writing of the book lends an immediacy that is doubly compelling.

But the issues raised in the book go far wider than Leeds, Yorkshire, England and are unsettling for anyone who thinks that having a clean criminal record and leading an honest and decent life is enough to raise you above the risk of digital entrapment.

This book has a clear, focussed and unambiguous voice. Mick McCann writes from the heart and the words pour out with passion and vigour. When his head swims, so does yours; when he swears in disbelief, so do you; when he craves a fag, so do you (although I don’t smoke!!).

This is the best book I’ve read in years. Buy it now.

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(7 replies, posted in Life)

Blue Lou Boyle wrote:
luxury_scruff wrote:

very bad background music

Muzak - what sort of scum produce that?  big_smile

Sigur Ros are on their 3rd album of it, or thereabouts.

The album is remarkably good - a bit short and the odd track teeters at the edges of Oasis before veering firmly into JAMC an MBV territory - but the man's voice is a wonder to behold. Like Gregory's Girl with guitars. Top stuff.

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(16 replies, posted in Life)

Crustacea violence more like.

I was thinking of buying a couple of live lobsters from the market tomorrow. Last time I did that with the intention of dispatching them in line with Hugh F-W's humane recommendations I put them in the freezer so they went to sleep, slipped a sharp knife down the spine and kind of chopped them in half which turned out a bit messy. They also turned out a bit tough which was probably more to do with over-cooking them than the method of death.

This time I think I'll just drop them into boiling water but some people say that this isn't ethical and that they may actually feel some pain.

kaydubya wrote:
abig wrote:

If you can, allow it to reveal itself to you, slowly.

Like I would a sexy lady.

Exactly. Don't put it straight in the car.

If you can, allow it to reveal itself to you, slowly.

Get the wife to take the points.

Step forward Dennis Wise - Brookside Terry won't be staying on his own, will he..

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(10 replies, posted in Life)

The top 10 tunes of Obama and McCain:-

http://www.blender.com/WhiteHouseDJBatt … 39518.aspx

Wilco/ Fleet Foxes do Dylan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RmZfV6tqbTU

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(10 replies, posted in Life)

Its serious stuff  - a Republican win could well herald an upturn in the fortunes of McCain oven chips.

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(7 replies, posted in Life)

Hendys are on their knees, by all accounts - place next door is rented out by them and the guy says its all going tits up although you'd be surprised how the "Chapel A" market seems to be holding out.

Festival weekend now, masses of OB out; Nev's curries flying out at £7 a shot. Rain forecast tomorrow smile

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(3 replies, posted in Gigs)

Went to the York gig at the Duchess last night and yes,  speaking to one of the guys on the door, it IS meant as a nod to the old Leeds venue that Nirvana, Oasis etc played in their early days.

Aside from one of the worst examples of talking at a gig I've ever witnessed (man into mobile phone during a particularly quiet part of a love-lorn ballad - "YOU'LL HAVE TO SPEAK UP I'M AT A GIG!!!") this young man has genuine star quality.

Despite a bad throat which meant a couple of songs were taken on by other band members he did 1hr 45 minutes of mostly new album material with some great covers - no Bright Eyes material but diverse country blues which, as ever, owes a huge debt to Mr Neil Young.

8/10.

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(3 replies, posted in Life)

Unlistenable

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(7 replies, posted in Life)

The seasonal summer air in LS7 has just been punctuated by a police helicopter, the sound of a handbreak turn in the adjacent street and the clatter of upturned wheely bins.

Touring again in November as 'The Cardinals feat Ryan Adams'

http://www.ents24.com/web/artist/10615/Ryan_Adams.html

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(29 replies, posted in Books)

Finished it - 9.75 out of 10

-0.25 for the frequent use of the word 'gotten'.

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(66 replies, posted in Books)

thewrongimpression wrote:

Whether there's a Yorkshire connection I couldn't say-he is fucking thick though...

He also has to be stinking rich with nimby hennaed on his behind.

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(66 replies, posted in Books)

The Orchard Keeper is VERY complicated  - noticed he wrote it in 1965 - not the finest debut novel I'd suggest.

Outer Dark is fantastic, more dead babies than Martin Amis tongue

Gearing myself up for Suttree and delighted to learn that there's a character in it called Harrogate!!

Allerton High? - fucking set of gay twats.

I walked into The Highwood a boy at 14 and emerged.... a very scared boy.

Roughest school teams I ever encountered were nearly always east Leeds - Foxwood/ Cockburn and there was a team from Osmondthorpe called the Rookwood Blades that we were beating at half time. Half way through the second half one of their followers drove a stolen car onto the pitch and ignited it - match abandoned.

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(66 replies, posted in Books)

Its a very optimistic book about the power of love and all that. Thank God McCarthy didn't follow up No Country for Old Men (enjoyable as that is) with another Coen brothers script in mind as The Road is so much more powerful.

The landscape he describes is beautiful but devoid of colour - the only colour is provided by the innocence of the boy and its extremely disturbing if you've got kids. His other books prey on this emotion and an earlier one - Outer Dark - now reads like a precursor to The Road.

Vigo Mortenson as the Dad feels just right for the film.

TopMan wrote:

The Autumn Defense (Wilco bassist) is playing the Brudenell in Sept.

In which case could be the closest I'll ever get to Jeff Tweedy.

Today in the sunny garden it was Pressure Drop - Toots and the Maytalls.

On Letterman recently doing Blue Ridge Mountains.

J Tillman (the drummer) is doing a solo support slot on the tour.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gke4USY8EE

Sheffield and Manchester for me - they're supporting Wilco over there at the moment.